A senior Iranian official says the Islamic Republic supports consensus among all Lebanese political groups in the upcoming presidential election in the Arab country.
“Iran welcomes any initiative by Lebanon’s political movements to elect a president through consensus and understanding among all political actors in the country,” Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a meeting with Lebanon’s Minister of Economy and Trade Alain Hakim in Tehran on Monday.
He added that Iran attaches great importance to the settlement of regional crises, particularly the Syrian and Lebanese issues, and urges countries in the region to strengthen their cooperation.
The Iranian official called for deepening relations with Beirut in all fields.
Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on January 7 adjourned a presidential election session to February 8 due to a lack of quorum.
Since last May, lawmakers from a number of different political parties have prevented the election by boycotting parliamentary sessions. The power vacuum, which has left the cabinet and parliament paralyzed, is considered the longest since 1990, which marked the end of Lebanon’s civil war.
Under Lebanon’s power-sharing system, the president must be a Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shia Muslim.
New phase in Iran-Lebanon relations: Hakim
Hakim hailed the implementation of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries and the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran and said the Islamic Republic plays a leading role in the region.
The Lebanese minister, who is in Tehran to attend the 7th session of Iran-Lebanon Economic Commission, stressed the importance of improving economic cooperation with Iran.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia – plus Germany started to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on January 16.
After the JCPOA went into effect, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the Security Council and the US were lifted. Iran in return has put some limitations on its nuclear activities. The nuclear agreement was signed on July 14, 2015 following two and a half years of intensive talks.